Tag Archives: Republicans

I didn’t vote for Trump, celebrate Inauguration Day and why you should do the same.

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I didn’t vote for Trump.  Given the opportunity I wouldn’t vote for him again.  So you get my point.  I don’t particularly like him.  But you know what I do like?  America.  Part of America and what makes it great is the peaceful transfer of power.  So for all of those like me who are not fans of the President-elect, I have the following message for you.  Enjoy Inauguration Day and celebrate it.

I expect Democratic lawmakers to challenge the incoming President and hold him accountable for his actions.  That is part of democracy and no matter how many Republicans try to shut Democrats up I am 100% in favor of them doing their job, which is to represent those who voted them into power.  But the inauguration is a different story. It’s not about the individual you support for president rather your support for the office of the president.  Boycotting, disrupting, or attempting to ruin the inauguration in any way is not partisan politics, it’s unpatriotic.  Inauguration day is not dependent on who is elected, it’s the step that takes place after that individual is elected.  Inauguration day, like election day, is an American institution.

The irony of protesting against or boycotting the inauguration is that it turns it into something it’s not. Partisan.  It is not a Republican institution and when Democrats or Independents use their voice by trying to put a damper on the the inauguration, their efforts backfire.  So do the right thing whether you celebrate who is becoming the next President of the United States or not by  celebrating America’s democracy and enjoy and celebrate inauguration.  It’s not the Republican or Democrat thing to do, it’s the American thing to do.

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Now is the time to be unified, not point fingers

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Before all the information started coming out about the attacker in the nightclub in Orlando, who as of today is responsible for the murder of 50 people, the big question being asked was whether or not this was a terrorist attack or a hate crime?  As authorities also arrested a suspect with an arsenal on the way to the Gay Pride parade in Los Angeles, the idea of calling it a hate crime became even more prevalent.  In reality the actual distinction between terrorism and what we call hate crimes is a misnomer, since terrorism is in essence the ultimate hate crime.

Civilization’s worst enemy today are Islamic Extremists.  They have made it very clear that they want to destroy everything the western world stands for and believes in. They want to at best, neutralize, at worst destroy all other religions.  Tolerance and acceptance are contrary to everything they believe in.  In short, they hate everything we are and all we value.

With all the criticism Democrats and Republicans have for the other side, we see today that America still is a great country.  The majority of Liberals and Conservatives, even if they vehemently argue about gay marriage or gay rights, mourn the attack without any hint of prejudice because it took part in a gay club. This is of no big surprise, because this is a country in which the majority of its citizens do no want to see harm come to others and see this is an attack for what it is, an attack on America, which subsequently is an attack on all of us.

That being said, I can’t help thinking about an episode of the show Friends in which the character Chandler starts smoking and the group are all over him about it.  What does Chandler do?  He brings up issues that cause them to fight among themselves and they totally forget he is even in the room, allowing him to smoke unencumbered.  Yesterday, when I saw the beginning of dissent among the American public and the first finger pointing, I could not help but think how much that played into the hands of the terrorists. Friends was funny.  This was not.  The more we fight among ourselves, the more we point fingers at what we think is the other side-the truth is we are really all on the same side- the more vulnerable we become to terrorism.  Naive? Maybe. But we must work together to preserve our freedoms and liberties.  Divisiveness is in itself a continuation of the terror attacks for it attacks the very core of who we are.

Not one person on either channel yesterday, at least no one I heard give their expert analysis was willing to say something to the effect of, “our leaders need to do more to recognize the enemy and there need to be stricter gun laws”.  As I have said many times, most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists today are Muslim.  That is not a statement of bigotry, it is a statement of fact.  I believe the administration makes a mistake in not clarifying that.  But to say that and ignore the fact that gun laws need to be addressed is not looking at the entire problem. Truth is that terrorists are criminals themselves, so no gun law will make a major impact on what they try to do, but if it was not as easy as it is to get a gun in this country it’s hard not to make a case that lives would be saved.  I believe in the right of every law abiding and mentally stable citizen to own a gun, but I also feel that someone who was investigated by the FBI and had a history of abusive and antagonistic behavior should somehow be prevented from owning one.  If that means a yearly psychological analysis is needed to continue to have a right to own a gun, then so be it. No mentally stable law-abiding citizen should have a problem with that. Inconvenient? So is going through the security checks at the airport, but it’s a necessity in the world in which we live today and something we actually need to appreciate.

The terrorist that killed the people in  Orlando was, sad to say, homegrown.  He was born and raised in the United States and somehow was filled with such hate for the way of life in America that he was willing to murder in what he felt was in the name of his religion. What this shows us is that regardless of what stances we take on immigration we still have a problem.  Borders are made somewhat irrelevant by the internet, allowing organizations like ISIS to infiltrate our society and influence the angry and disenfranchised.  Sure we can make things better by enforcing laws in all areas, including immigration, but the problem is more a reflection of the poor health of our society than the porous nature of our borders.

There are many issues that need to be addressed to see to it that our society is safe and prosperous, and although terrorism is an enormous threat, our division among ourselves may be an even worse threat, and to ignore that or let it be ignored for the self-serving needs of any politician or pundit is something we can no longer allow to happen.  If we do we then risk losing everything we hold dear as a nation and a society.

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Why the big voter turnout in the Presidential Primaries won’t translate to the General Election

 

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Christian evangelicals, feminists, college students, white males, socialists, racists, are all part of the reason there has been such a large turnout of voters this Presidential primary season.  It may indicate a greater interest in politics by American citizens, but when all is said and done there will likely only be 2 candidates remaining, and other than a protest vote, we can be fairly certain that a large number of people voting in the primaries will be too disillusioned to vote in the general election.

The most likely demographic to be disillusioned are the supporters of Bernie Sanders. Those ‘feeling the Bern’, particularly those normally not showing an interest in politics, will find their usual apathy vindicated should Hillary not only win the nomination but do so with the help of the Democrats hierarchy.  If it becomes obvious that the deck is stacked against Bernie thanks to Hillary’s support from Super Delegates, many of the more than 2.5 million people who have supported Sanders to date will either choose to ignore the process or even worse for the Democrats, protest it.  One thing they won’t do is vote.

Then there’s the approximately 35% of Republicans, mostly white males, supporting Donald Trump.  If Donald Trump is not the nominee, regardless of whether or not an argument can be made for it being for fair or unfair reasons, a large number of those voters are likely to stay home as well.  With the way Trump has gone after Cruz, even if he were to give his support to Cruz should the Texas Senator get the nomination, his constant use of the term “Lying Ted” will make it very difficult to convince Trump supporters to give their vote to Cruz.  If the Convention is contested or worse for the Republicans, brokered, the only way these people will vote is if Donald Trump decides on a 3rd party run.  I’ve repeatedly said that I don’t believe Donald Trump is actually a racist, a Demagogue yes, a racist no, but it is also fairly clear that the majority of white supremacists and anti-Semites are Trump supporters. If we are to accept that this demographic is galvanized by Trump’s atypical demeanor and rhetoric, the only other candidate out there fitting that mode would be Bernie Sanders.  Well forget about that. These guys most certainly won’t go for the Jewish Socialist.

Of course all of that also means that a large percentage of Cruz supporters won’t vote for Donald Trump.  Many of these same people would likely stay home if another candidate was put forth at the convention unless Cruz was offered the job of Vice President.  But even then, the  Cruz supporters who are anti-establishment would feel betrayed by their candidate being pushed to the second spot.

Trump getting the nomination for the Republicans also creates a problem, particularly if Clinton gets the nomination for the Democrats.  There are many people, people who have shown support for many of the other candidates, who find neither of these candidates to be a viable option.  The only way these people would vote is to stop a candidate, in which case their vote would be based on hate for one, rather than support for another. Either way this diminishes the turnout.

Unless by some miracle a candidate presents themselves as someone who can unite the entire country, it is very apparent that the great turnout we see in the primary season is unlikely to repeat itself in November.  Since neither of the front runners have been able to even do that within their own party, I think it is fairly safe to say that won’t happen, which means many Americans will look back at this past year  as a big waste of time.  Not the best thing for Democracy.

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Super Tuesday notes: Including why the KKK thing does matter

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So let me get this out of the way first.  Who else out there thought Chris Christie standing behind Donald Trump during the press conference looked like someone stuck in traffic on the George Washington Bridge?  Either that or he was thinking, “Donald told me I have to stand here for a little while and then we’ll go for Ice Cream”.   As far as the overall results on Super Tuesday, I agree it established a clear path for Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, but as far as the Republicans are concerned, am I missing something?  Was this not supposed to be a trouncing by Trump?  It looks like Sara Palin is so relevant she couldn’t even help him win Alaska. Are his 4 losses and other close races not a reflection of a tightening race?   Apparently not according to the pundits. Or is there something more devious behind all of this?

Although I am sure the more conservative of you will disagree on this, I believe with a few exceptions CNN is usually the most balanced of the major cable news networks. FOX leans to the right and MSNBC is too one-sided to the left to even be seen as a viable news source.  CNN does the best job at covering of at least feigning neutrality. However, it would appear that there may be something slightly more devious coming from within the CNN ranks.

Take today’s headlines on the websites of CNN and FOX for example.

CNN: Establishment reluctantly realizes a Trump nomination is near

FOX: BIG WINS, BIG QUESTIONS

So the case can be made that CNN leans to the left, and that promoting Trump’s victory with extra vigor helps Hillary Clinton’s chances.  After all, if you look at the polls, the only Republican candidate that loses to her head to head is Donald Trump.  Then again, in the name of equitable cynicism, maybe for FOX it is all about selling a debate that takes place tomorrow.  After all, a fait accompli would not be particularly good for ratings.

One thing is certain.  Super Tuesday was not nearly as super for Donald Trump as originally expected.  He lost 4 states  when previously he was touted as having a chance to win them all, and it was very close in states like Vermont, Arkansas, and maybe most notably Virginia, where Marco Rubio might have won if the primary had taken place a few days later.  Clearly the attacks on Trump have taken their toll.  The question is whether or not they came in time to stop him winning the nomination.  It’s too soon to tell, but the one issue that needs to be taken seriously is Trump’s handling of the interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper over the David Duke endorsement.  Donald Trump has been around a long time.  He’s been called a big mouth, a showman, an opportunist, and someone who only cares about himself. One thing he has not been called with any frequency is a racist.  I believe that is for one very obvious and simple reason.  He isn’t one.  However, in his straight-talking, populous, brash, appeal to the masses way, he generates enthusiasm from the angry, the scared, and yes, the bigots. Why?  Bigots are always looking for someone else to blame for their miserable lot in life.  Trump may not be one of those people, but the words he says and how he says them excites and entices the angriest and most hateful.  I believe the reason Trump was so hesitant in the interview was because the only word his “faulty earpiece” allowed him to hear, was the word endorsement.  I’m not saying an endorsement from David Duke is more important to him than right and wrong, merely that for Trump, the desire to win is so great he finds it hard to turn away anyone who likes him.Even if we are to give him his due and say it’s not his fault that these people support and like him, the fact that they do like him makes him dangerous.  Not because he will do anything to placate them, but anything that gives them enthusiasm and excitement is a dangerous thing. 

So what’s the bottom line on Hangover Wednesday?  Yesterday’s big winner was Hillary Clinton.  Not just because of what happened on the Democratic side but because of what happened on the Republican side.  For the Undecideds who may or may not like or trust her, when all is said and done her advantage may come down to the age old saying, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know. And those Undecideds may just make the difference.

I can’t wait till March 15th.

 

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Bush, Clinton, the Borg, and the futility of the voting process

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As a fan of Star Trek the phrase “resistance is futile” comes to mind when thinking about the American presidential election process.  For those who are not Star Trek geeks like me, this refers to the alien race known as the Borg that appeared in some of the Star Trek series and movies and had their way with every race they wished to assimilate into their culture. For the most part I am not a conspiracy theorist, so I am not that guy who believes that a few people have predetermined who is going to run things, but I do believe our democracy is controlled by money and power and when deciding the presidency, any resistance is indeed an act of futility.  When it comes to money and power on the Republican side, the Bush family is certainly entrenched near or at the top of the pile. Although the Clinton’s don’t wield the same amount of either money or power as the Bush clan does, they’ve achieved a power and influence within the Democratic party that leaves Hilary Clinton virtually unchallenged in her pursuit of the presidency.  Is this a good thing? I guess it depends on who you ask.

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We could start by saying that the fact that “resistance is futile” is never a good thing.  Of course this is up for debate since there are plenty of Republicans who will tell you they prefer Scott Walker,Ted Cruz, even Rand Paul or any of the other cast of characters throwing their hat into the ring, but the reality is that once the Bush people start spending their money and wielding their influence it’s hard to see anyone else in the Republican party winning the nomination.  From the Democratic Party side, even if one was a strong supporter of the Bill Clinton presidency, some questions still remain at the wisdom of a Hilary candidacy.  Maybe she would rise to the top of a more competitive field anyway, but the reality is that she is so assured of the nomination that Republican hopefuls already find themselves campaigning against her. So the truth is, not only is resistance futile, one might say voting is as well.

I’m a sports fan.  I love when the outcome of a season is uncertain.  So 2 years ago in the NFL when Seattle predictably made it to the Super Bowl against Denver, and to many predictably won the game, despite my love for the sport I was not thrilled by what I watched that entire postseason. I always love the presidential election cycle.  I find it enthralling, exciting, even fascinating.  I find it hard to stop watching.  Unfortunately this time I find it very predictable and subsequently losing a lot of its luster.  I am rather certain it will be a Bush against a Clinton, and since the Democrats just had 8 years in the White House, most likely it ends up with the Bush winning.  I won’t even talk about who I like better and whether or not I think either one would be good for the country, because in the end this is how it will turn out regardless, and my opinion, let alone my vote, will have no impact on the end result.  The frightening part to all of this is that this upcoming presidential election may be one of the most important in recent history and the American people are at the mercy of the money and power of a small group of people.

At least that’s my opinion. If it turns out otherwise I’ll eat crow, but I’m rather confident it won’t. After all, resistance is futile.


A Bad day for the Democrats could be a Good day for Hillary

hillary-talking-syriaWith the midterm election results just hours away, Republicans and Democrats everywhere are hopeful their candidate will come out victorious. We know that leaders on both sides declare their loyalty to the party and in most cases they probably mean it.  With one possible exception. The presidential hopeful.

The argument can be made that whatever party takes control of the Senate will not be the party that wins the White House in 2016.  It may be pessimistic on my part to feel this way, but there’s no real reason to feel confident that things will get that much better over the next 2 years.  It’s likely that if things continue to go south, this growing trend of reactionary voting will only pick up more steam.  If that’s the case you have to believe that somewhere not that far in the back of Hillary Clinton’s mind she’s not all that devastated with the thought of today being a big day for Republicans.

There’s just too much work to do for anyone to be that hopeful things will look that much better 2 years from now.  Whatever party controls the Senate is more likely to suffer more backlash than that caused by one man in the White House.  That’s why it’s not crazy to predict that whatever party has a bigger day is the party that loses the presidency in 2016.  Plus the Republicans are pushing the idea that reestablishing their dominance in government will make your life better. It may or may not be the case down the road, but it won’t be in time to help the next Republican candidate.  Based on many news reports indicating a big day for the GOP, that may very well mean the big winner in the Democratic Party coming out of today’s elections will be Hillary Clinton.

 

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Blood on his hands

“Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, read history.  They elected Hitler”-Rudy Giuliani responding to the statement that the people of Gaza elected Hamas.

ap_jimmy_carter_110425_wg-e1335377335955You can be a humanitarian or a bigot if you so choose, but you can’t be both.  When you’ve fooled people into believing you are a humanitarian you better understand that is a term that applies to all human beings, not just the ones you like.  If you’re an ex-President of the United States of America you better understand that your words hold some weight and therefore can impact future events.

We may be able to argue that Jimmy Carter is and always was inept, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he is also dangerous.  It is people like him, anti-Semites who enable terrorists, that have till now and still do, lay the groundwork for the deaths of countless innocent civilians.  I have heard Democrats blame George W. Bush for the 9/11 attacks and Republicans blame Bill Clinton, but I always maintained the only one to blame is Osama bin-Laden. However, if you really want to give some of the fault to an American president you can blame Jimmy Carter.  It goes much deeper than the debacle of leadership he showed during the Iranian revolution.  Jimmy Carter’s support and friendship with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat was the most high-profile acceptance of a terrorist by any American president in the nation’s history.  In doing this Jimmy Carter strengthened the PLO, legitimized terrorism, and set the groundwork for the growth of future terrorist organizations.

So Mr. Carter, you are not a humanitarian at all.  What you are is a hypocrite. You have used the guise of humanitarianism to push your agenda, an agenda that has always been anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.  Your relationship with Hamas is an easy one to understand.  They hide behind children to attack Israel, you hide behind humanitarianism.  You speak words that fraudulently portray you as a decent man, when in reality there is a lot of blood on your hands.  In opening your mouth again you clearly are hoping for more, and I have no doubt the blood you prefer is Jewish blood.

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Dear Mr. President

header_graphicDear President Obama,

I am a Jew.  I am a Zionist.  I am an American.  I voted for you twice.  I find myself not only disillusioned by your responses to the murder of the 3 Israeli teenagers, but angry as well.  This is not a time for packaged responses and clichés.  This is a time to utilize the power of your office, a power that extends around the globe if utilized correctly, to make a strong and significant statement impacting not only the well-being of Israel today but the future of the entire planet.

I begin with two questions we are all entitled to have answered.

Question number 1.  You coined the phrase “senseless act of terror”.  Does that imply that some acts of terror are not senseless?  Is that a redundancy overlooked by your speechwriters or is that part of the thinking that allows you to be willing to accept Hamas as part of a Palestinian government?  Please keep in mind that the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is also a terrorist organization transformed into a political organization and the so-called “unreasonable” Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to deal with them, despite the fact that so many of their leaders formerly took part in “senseless” acts of terror.

Question number 2.  In what is clearly the administrations careful wording, since it was uttered in both your initial comments and those of your Secretary of State John Kerry, why do you feel it necessary to caution Israel to not “destabilize the situation”, be it further or at all?  I am fairly certain that the mothers of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel are not looking at this situation as anything resembling stable.  Neither am I for that matter.  And I know that most people who share the same concerns that I do would feel the same way.

I am aware that you inherited a bad economy, high unemployment and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Much to the dismay of many who will read this, I have been a defender of you and your presidency and have not blamed you for everything wrong in the country, as so many Republicans do.  I have however, as have many others, been concerned over your approach towards Israel as well as your responses to acts of terror and terrorist organizations and regimes.  My deepest fear going into your presidency was that you would make the same tragic mistake that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made when he declared there would be “peace in our time”.  He convinced himself he was dealing with a willing peace partner in Adolf Hitler.  We all know how that turned out.  It concerns me now that in comparing you to Neville Chamberlain I may have been giving you the benefit of the doubt.  It is a terrifying and potentially tragic road it leads us all down, and we all can only hope you either wake up to the realities or change your tune, whichever one is necessary to set this in the right direction.

I do not question whether or not you understand the responsibility you have at this moment, but as an American citizen and as a Jew I hope you are aware that your words and actions can make the difference between life and death for so many good people who want nothing more than to live in peace.  I can only hope that matters enough for you to change your approach.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

 

 


Why We Pick Sides

Although the events in the Middle East are of a more serious nature, this is not the first time in the past month we have been witness to two large groups of people taking sides against each other.  Only a few weeks ago when Barack Obama won reelection, the ongoing battle between Republicans on the right and Democrats on the left, at least to some extent, finally settled down. Although the differences between the American presidential election and the conflict in Israel and Gaza are significant, one interesting similarity is that in both circumstances all parties think the same thing.  They think they are without any question correct for choosing the side that they did.  The question this makes me ask is this.  What causes people to pick sides?

I discussed this with someone prior to the election, and we both agreed that there are many people out there who pick a political party based on what they were born into.  It is not uncommon to see three generations of Democrats or Republicans.  After all, it is very normal for parents to influence their children.  By no means do I mean to imply these people are not thinking for themselves, after all, being born to parents who always voted Democrat, I too fell into this category.  I just know that my political opinions were influenced by the discussions I heard and participated in at home and that my opinion was, at least partially, molded by those dinner time chats.   Now don’t think for one second I don’t recognize there are multitudes of people who make their decision when they reach adulthood based on experiences or analysis, but it is important to recognize that there are many people who in some ways never really had a choice to make.  It’s all they ever knew from a young age.

Although the stakes, certainly immediately are far greater, there are similarities to be found between the U.S. presidential election and the conflict in the Middle East.  The similarities I speak of surround the taking of sides, the reasons for doing so, and the certainty with which each side holds its view.  Although there is great passion in American politics, the majority of people realize that each side isn’t entrenched to the point where no one can see how it will ever change.  I am not so sure the same can be said for the situation in the Middle East.

Examining the situation in Gaza, I asked myself what makes someone choose one side or another.  There are of course the people who live in the affected areas, and then there are people such as myself who live geographically far away, but feel close to the situation.  I’ve heard the stories of Palestinians who in their early years saw people who they were close to die, and living in an environment where they never heard anything other than the fact that the Israelis were responsible, grew up wanting revenge.  Regardless of the accuracy of the information, was there ever a question what side they would be on?   Were they ever given a choice?

In Israel, boys and girls know that when they reach the ripe old age of 18, that they will get called up to do their required military service. Military service made necessary from living in a nation surrounded by enemies.  Then there are the thousands who have been killed in terrorist attacks and their families who have been directly affected by these attacks.  Even if for argument’s sake Israel’s attack on Gaza held no justification, what side would you expect these people to be on?  Past incidents give them little to no room for choice.

There are people on both sides of the conflict who pick a side based on their background, religion, or in some cases, political expediency.  In some cases people pick sides without any genuine regard for the well-being of the people on the side that they pick.  Some politicians and journalists thrust their careers into high gear during conflicts such as these, and although I am sure that for the most part these people are not looking to see anyone suffer, in some cases they are not exactly praying for things to get back to normal either.

It’s very important to mention that the media that supplies the information to a large percentage of Israel’s enemies makes no attempt at being balanced and in many cases is controlled by their governments that do not believe in the concept of freedom of speech or freedom of the press.  Israel is a democracy with these freedoms and with an open channel to get information from all sides.  All of these factors play a major role in how the people on both sides think and implies that people’s feelings are controlled by factors entirely out of their control.  A point I have no intention of disputing.  All of this leads me to how I picked the side I am on.

I am a Jewish man and the son of Holocaust survivors from Holland.  I’ve always believed I was created by God and by my mother and father.  However I recently came to the realization that there is one other player, for lack of a better term, in forming who I am as a person.  That player is the anti-Semite.  From a young age I was aware of the suffering of the Jewish people.  After 6 million Jews were murdered by Hitler’s Nazi Germany, many surviving Jews went back to their biblical home in what was then Palestine.  It did not take long for the surrounding Arab nations to begin hostilities against the newly formed modern nation of Israel in 1948, and subsequently have major wars in 1956, 1967, and 1973.  These conflicts began prior to Israel having any control of Gaza or Judaea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank.  Gaza and the Sinai Desert were Egyptian territories taken over by Israel during a war and the West Bank was Jordanian and was also taken over by Israel.  Particularly regarding the latter, Jordan was more than happy to be rid of what they saw as a problematic population.  In the 70s, when Yasser Arafat’s PLO developed a new strategy, the strategy of terrorism, a new era began in the Middle East, and once again a political organization found it justified to kill Jewish people at random.  Arafat’s Palestinian “cause” had him embezzle funds and keep his people down and impoverished.  After all, should the Palestinians prosper he would have no basis of leadership, being that the leadership was based on hating the Jewish, I mean Zionist enemy.  The Palestinian Authority, an organization now recognized by the world as being legitimate, is the political offshoot of Arafat’s PLO and is now considered the more moderate voice of the Palestinians. This is because Hamas, now running the show in Gaza, justifies terrorism as a political means to achieving their goal.

Seeing innocent people crying and bleeding as a result of Israeli airstrikes is never a pleasant sight, but it pales in comparison to suicide bombers going into Pizza places and wiping out entire families intentionally with one bomb.  A car on fire in Gaza because it was near a terrorist base of operation, does not compare with buses being blown up intentionally.  And civilian Palestinians are not targeted in European countries, while Jews are fair game in places like France and Bulgaria to mention just a few.  And when Ahmadinejad of Iran speaks, I once again hear a leader of a nation speak openly about wanting to murder millions of Jews.

I see the enemies of Israel accuse the Jewish state of not wanting peace with the Palestinians.  To this I ask; “if you are so convinced of this, why are you not willing to give it a try?”   I see the answer is being a simple one.  Even if the people would want peace, their leadership does not.  And for this reason I believe that they are not only out to kill as many Jews as possible, but that they are responsible for dying Palestinian civilians in Gaza as well.  How did I pick my side?  I had no choice.  I put a value on human life.


Who suffers from Election and Disaster Fatigue?

I am an American, and truly believe that as a whole we’re a good bunch.  With all my flaws I am by no means qualified to say otherwise, but since I don’t want my words to be misinterpreted, I happily begin by complimenting my fickle countrymen for their basic decency and kindness.

As we look back to the recent presidential election, I can’t help but sense that an election fatigue has set in.  Going back to when the Republicans had what was close to a football team on the debate stage, till the final contest in which the incumbent President Barack Obama defeated his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the process has been so long I truly believe many are happy it is over.  Even those on the winning side.

The good thing about the timing of the election was that it came just in time to help deal with Disaster fatigue.  Please forgive me if this comes across cynical.  That is not my intention.  I do not believe that most people who felt bad at the peak of Superstorm Sandy no longer feel bad.  I do however feel that many are less fascinated by the news reports than they were in the immediate days that followed.

All these stories not only continue, but they continue to be important and relevant.  The presidential election in of itself is not as important as what gets done moving forward.  Everyone knows we have a big mess on our hands and that the President, together with the Senate and Congress need to move into action and get things on the right track.  But enough about the election now. It’s old news.

Hurricane Sandy in many ways is two stories.  The first story was the immediate storm and the drama and serious impact it had.  The second story, the more serious one, is the story of the people who have suffered and still suffer as a result of the storm.  This is a story that unfortunately will continue for quite some time.  People are homeless, hungry and cold.   They are frustrated and despondent and will be needing help for a very long time.  But the story of the storm itself, the floods, fires, storm surges, well that’s old news now.

Gas shortages and long lines is becoming old news as well.  Unless of course fights break out while people wait in line.  Then the news becomes exciting again.  We are a sensationalist society and when the story loses its sensationalism the public loses some interest.  That doesn’t mean we become uncaring.  There are so many good people, people better than me, who give so much time to help those in need.  It’s just that unfortunately people’s suffering is never really news.  It doesn’t go away and being that it is a constant, loses its headline status.

Part of the biggest challenge facing us is to see to it that when these stories lose front page stature they don’t lose their importance.  It is incumbent on anyone with any audience, even a small one, to seek out and find the stories of those who need help.  That way we can continue to be the sensationalist society we obviously and honestly want to be, while not turning away from those who truly need our help.

If any of you have stories of people in need that you wish to share, please email me at hollandsheroes80@gmail.com.  Sometimes the greatest help starts from the most unlikely source.